Example of bikes accepted at BNB and what is not accepted

What we accept:

  • All types of bikes (road, hybrid, mountain, BMX, tandem, electric, etc.)
  • All sizes (adult, child, etc.)
  • Parts of any kind
  • Tools of any kind
  • Even some broken stuff! (e.g. cracked frame with usable components, worn tires, tubes with holes)
  • Accessories (helmets, bags, lights, pumps, locks, training wheels, etc.)
  • Cycling clothing
  • Office supplies (electronics, computers, stationery and school supplies, whiteboards, folding chairs, tables, etc.)
  • Rags: used textiles, cotton, preferably already cut into strips
  • Shipping and sorting supplies such as milk crates, square plastic kitty litter containers, 5-gallon water containers, large plastic bins, etc.

What we don't accept:

  • Anything that has spent significant time out in the weather (and has rust)
  • Kick scooters
  • Anything with a gasoline motor
  • Exercise equipment
  • Tricycles
  • Trail-A-Bikes

Where and when to drop off:

  • Option 1: Bring your donations to the Bikes Not Bombs Hub & Bike Shop, located at 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain, MA. Feel free to drop off donations any time we are open.
  • Option 2: Find a bike drive in your area. Take a look at our events calendar to identify any upcoming bike drives.

 

Bikes Not Bombs encourages a donation of $20 with every bike donation to cover the cost of bike recycling and processing.

Frequently asked questions about bike donations:

Do you pick up bikes?

If you are an individual donor, you should know that we generally rely on our donors to bring the bikes to us, as we don't have the resources necessary to pick up bikes piecemeal.  We collect over 5,000 bikes every year! Can you imagine how long it would take to pick up 5,000 bikes individually? Luckily, coming to us is easier than you think, and the largest bike will fit into the smallest car (if you want it to). In addition to our Hub in Jamaica Plain, we may offer seasonal Bike Drive events in your area. If you don't have a car, if your donation isn't rideable, if you are unable physically to move the bicycle, you probably have a friend, neighbor, or relative who would be willing to bring your donation to one of our drop-off points on your behalf.

Do you purchase bicycles?

No. We never have, and we likely never will.

How do I bring my bike to a volunteer drop-off point?

All of our volunteer drop-off points are currently unavailable, but we expect them to become available soon. As soon as they become available, their locations will be listed here. Thanks for your patience!

How can I set up a new bike drive?

Check out the Bike Drives tab on this page!

Do I need to call before donating my bike?

If your donation consists of more than 10 bicycles, please set up an appointment with the bike shop at 617-522-0222. If you are donating fewer than 10 bikes that meet the conditions above, you can deliver them without arranging a time in advance.  Make sure to take note of the hours of operation for the BNB facility at which you plan to drop off your donation.

Can I donate a bike to be given specifically to one of your programs?

If your bicycle is in ready-to-ride condition, consider donating your bicycle to Bike Match.

Due to the volume of bike donations we process and the infrequency of these types of requests we do not have the capacity to track and manage specific requests for allocation of donated bikes. We already have a system and procedure for determining allocation of bikes to programs, taking into account many different factors -- so unfortunately we are not able to guarantee where your bike will end up at the time of donation. While we encourage everyone to learn about (and get involved in!) our programs, we ask donors to understand that the bike (or item) they wish to donate may or may not be useful in the program area of their choice, and to trust our judgment when it comes to determining the most responsible use of items that have been donated to us. There are many factors that determine the best re-use of a given bicycle, and the program area where a given bike is of most value can change frequently. Additionally, the mechanical and material criteria that determine where a bike will be most useful is extremely nuanced. We collect, process, transport, and store bicycles in large quantities, such that making an exception for a single bicycle has the potential to slow down our system and cause significant hiccups along the way. We have been doing this for over 37 years so you can be assured that we will re-home your bicycle in an equitable and environmentally responsible manner.  If you're curious to find out how your particular donation is likely to be used, feel free to send a description of the bike (or item) to bikedonations@bikesnotbombs.org.

Organizing a bike collection drive in your community is a great way to support the work of Bikes Not Bombs and give people outside of Boston a chance to easily donate their old bike(s). You help find the bike donors and we'll come to your town with a big truck and trained BNB volunteers to collect the bikes.

You can organize a drive yourself or involve your local youth group, faith community, civic association, school, or business to help inspire more publicity.

Bike Drive organized in 2021

Basic steps to organizing a bike drive:

    1. Contact the operations team via email at bikedonations@bikesnotbombs.org to let us know that you are interested in planning an event and to secure a date on our calendar. You'll need to do this at least two months in advance of your proposed event date. The more notice you can provide us, the better our chances of success will be. Unilateral, or "surprise" bike drives, aren't necessarily helpful.
    2. Secure a venue, ideally one that is well known to residents of your town and is easily accessible by car. Some examples would be a high school parking lot, the town green, or the parking lot of a well known church. On the day of the collection, we will need space for our 18' step van, plus a few hundred more square feet to sort and process the incoming bikes, as well as access to drinking water and restrooms.
    3. Round up 4 to 6 volunteers for the day of the event to help us break down the bikes and prepare them for storage and shipment. The volunteers do not need to have any special skills — we bring tools and show your crew what needs to be done.
    4. Publicize your event far and wide. Good publicity is critical for a successful bike drive. In our experience, the two best publicity methods are a) getting your local paper to do a story on your event and b) placing large signs in high visibility areas around town. Both of these methods take some work, but they pay off in turnout. Other ideas include asking your paper to put an item in the calendar section, sending messages out to town email lists, making announcements at school or church, printing up fliers and handing them out around town, and posting on bulletin boards around town.
    5. Let bike donors know about our suggested monetary donation that will help support our programs. We request a tax-deductible $20 donation with every donated bike. The donation is voluntary, but we don't like donors to hear about it for the first time at the collection site, so make sure this information is included in all of your communications about the event.
Bikes outside of Bikes Not Bombs truck

FAQs

Are donations to Bikes Not Bombs tax deductible?

Yes! We are a 501 (c) 3 charity under the IRS code; donated bikes are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

How will the donated bikes be used?

Read more about our programs mission, and history! Want to share more information about Bikes Not Bombs with your bike donors? Print out a few of these single-sided flyers to hand out!

What support does BNB offer to drive organizers like me?

A Bikes Not Bombs volunteer will attend your drive from start to finish with tools, literature, donation receipts, and a van to transport the bikes to our warehouse at the end of the day. We train your volunteers in greeting bike donors and processing the incoming donations.

What are some additional ways to boost turnout at my bike drive?
  • See if your town will let you put an item on the "trash and recycling" page of their website.
  • Ask your local DPW or police if you can use their digital light up sign to publicize your event.
  • If your town has a transfer station, post a notice there well in advance of your event.
  • Visit your local bike shop owner to see if they have abandoned bikes or parts they are willing to donate.

Use this template flyer to advertise your drive throughout your neighborhood, at the library, City Hall, etc. Just write in the time and place of your Bike Drive!

Anything else?

Feel free to contact Sam Keezell at bikedonations@bikesnotbombs.org with any additional questions!